By Bill Heaney
A man has been arrested and charged after homophobic comments were alleged to have been hurled at Scottish Greens co-leader, Dumbarton man Patrick Harvie.
During a broadcast interview with the Scottish Government minister, a man could be heard calling Harvie a “deviant”.
The party then reported the incident to police.
Harvie was being interviewed by the BBC on camera when a passer-by hurled abuse at him.
A man was heard urging people to vote “any colour but Greens” before repeatedly shouting “you’re a deviant” at the politician.
Harvie, who is bisexual, responded by labelling the man a “bigot”.
The housing minister was speaking to a journalist on the campaign trail as his party launched their candidate for the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election.
After the man left the Scottish Greens co-leader said “toxic forces” had helped bring a rise in anti-LGBT attacks.
“The fact is there are some pretty toxic forces in politics at the moment that have unleashed homophobia and transphobia in a way that we haven’t seen in many, many years,” he said.
“Those who have cultivated this nasty kind of culture war against minorities need to take responsibility for verbal abuse like that but also for violence that we’ve seen rising against LGBT+ people.”
Following the incident, First Minister Humza Yousaf shared his support for his Scottish Government colleague.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Following a report of homophobic comments a 59-year-old man has been arrested and charged. A report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.”